His interest in guitar began with his exposure to pop music on the radio. In high school, he played in bands covering pop and soul classics, James Brown and other dance material.
Soon, the Chicago Blues became a passion through the work of Otis Rush, B. Later, Bill studied music at the University of Northern Colorado before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with John Damian, Herb Pomeroy and Michael Gibbs.
"It's hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell.
Unlike other pastichists, who tend to duck passion, Mr.
Frisell plays up the pleasure in the music and also takes on another often-avoided subject, tenderness." - "I like to have fun when I play and I like comedy - but it's not a conscious thing.
But as I got older, it crept into my music a lot." In fact, the observed that "Frisell possesses not only impressive compositional skills but also a remarkable ability to encompass seemingly antagonistic musical genres." Commenting on his eclectic compositional inclinations, Frisell told : "When I write something, it just sort of comes out.
I'm not thinking, 'Now I'm going to write a cowboy song'.
The breadth of such performing and recording situations is a testament not only to his singular guitar conception, but his musical versatility as well. In recent years, it is Frisell's role as composer and band leader which has garnered him increasing notoriety.
"For over ten years Bill Frisell has quietly been the most brilliant and unique voice to come along in jazz guitar since Wes Montgomery.
In 1978, Frisell moved for a year to Belgium where he concentrated on writing music.
In this period, he toured with Michael Gibbs and first recorded with German bassist Eberhard Weber.
His music is not what is typically called jazz, though it turns on improvisation; it's not rock'n roll; and it sure ain't that tired dinosaur called fusion.